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NIS Classics Volume 3

NIS Classics Volume 3 is the most recent addition in the ongoing NIS Classics compilation. The two games are La Pucille:Raganork, the PSP version andthe original version of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.Both games are part of the evergrowingDisgaea universe and La Pucillehas some connections to Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure isn’t the typical attack and dethrone godtype game, instead it’s incredibly cheesy, especially considering its Shoujo roots. It is a wholesome fairy tale story. Cornet is a young woman who is accompanied by a puppet as they try to rescue the beloved prince who has been turned into stone by an evil witch.Cornet is assisted by puppets who take on different forms depending on which one you find and they help you in combat with all sorts of abilities. Combat involves moving Cornet and the puppets as they attack the monsters. Sometimes the monsters join Cornet’s team. There is an equal leveling up system to help save time for grinding which is much appreciated.Dungeon exploring while simple, is re-used in a lot of the background screens which made things confusing at times.Rhapsody was the first fairy tale JRPG NIS has worked on that eventually formed a series of its own and NIS had another one I remember reviewing a while ago, A Witches Tale that was more gothic in tone. But since we’re talking about NIS here, of course it is going to have its wacky over the top elements.While it fits in the other NIS games, especially something like Disgaea, it feels more tacky.

La Pucille is more so in line with the typical NIS story with attacking and dethroning God. Both games are tactics based and Rhapsody in particular is one of the easiest in the NIS JRPG library with battles only taking just a few minutes to complete. For La Pucille, combat is on an isometric map of varying size and shape. Dark Portals which are gates to the Dark World are scattered randomly around the map. Each battle begins with a set number and arrangement of enemies. Combat takes place on a separate screen and involves the attacker and their targets.

Purification is La Pucelle members' ability to use the power of Poitreene which enables them to close Dark Portals and convert monsters. When a Dark Portal is purified, the character's purification power is subtracted from the portal's hit points. When converted, monsters join the party after they're defeated. Each purification increases the chance of a monster converting. A monster which has joined the party can be trained. Training consists of actions chosen by the player from a randomly generated list after finishing a map. A trained monster can be used in battle or sent to the Dark World, where they are used in wars between the Demons.

Each level has a Dark Energy Index measuring its dark energy. When the Index reaches 100, a portal opens which can be used to enter the Dark World (a series of randomly generated levels full of enemies and dark portals). The strength of Dark World enemies varies; the higher the Dark Energy Index, the stronger the enemies.

This version for the remaster, goes with the PSP version Ragnorak with the ability to retain characters/equipment and restarting the game to enjoy the different chapter endings without losing progress. It also featured a new storyline exploring what it means to become an Overlord. La Pucille is chapter focused depending on the character route you go with.

Both had good music to listen too. Rhapsody has musical cutscenes, something you are not going to see everyday in JRPGS other than Lunar Silver Star Story or Sakura Wars. The music itself is incredible and obviously way better than the compressed DS version. I enjoyed the artstyles of both games and the graphics too.

The voice acting for both games were generally ok and the dialogue was pretty cheesy as were the characters. Cornet was pretty one note to be honest with here being lovesick over the prince, and so were many of the other characters to the point I often wondered were they really out to help the prince. I hate to say it Cornet isn’t as pure and wholesome as you thought they would really be and to put it more bluntly, pretty much the majority of female characters in the game were gold diggers.

The pop culture references well you can expect it to be there since it’s a NIS game and I even caught a reference to getting jiggy with it which I honestly couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of Prince Ferdinad slapping someone for dissing Cornet.

There were some moments of filler too in a short game strangely just to pad the run time and were not really that necessary. Even the evil witch’s own assistants found the motivation behind the whole kidnapping to be just shameless gold digging. Majorly is the least threatening villain and she is no Xenolith from Disgaea D2.

There is a lot more story to cover in the Marl Kingdom World but, don’t expect a western release anytime soon and the future games also resolved a lot of missing plotlines and content.

Overall, both games were very enjoyable and fun to play.

It gets 4 out of 5 stars.

I highly recommend Rhapsody A Musical to those new and curious about Shoujo.


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